The CFE returns to give the crown to Carlos Peralta as the "king of the meters"

By Thelma Gómez Durán / MCCI

Industrias Unidas (IUSA) and Controls and Specialized Meters (Conymed), companies linked to Carlos Peralta Quintero, once again dominated the bidding process carried out by the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) for the acquisition of light meters, by obtaining the majority of the contracts, although both companies are protagonists of an investigation for possible monopolistic practices.

For the tender this year, one of the most important acquisitions of the CFE, a new process of descending electronic auction was implemented and the "simultaneous supply", ie for the same item two contracts were awarded to companies that offer better prices, achieving savings of almost 600 million pesos.

Thanks to this new tender process Electrometer de las Américas S.A. of C.V. and to Protecsa Ingeniería S.A. of C.V. they managed to obtain contracts; in other years these companies had been marginalized.

According to the ruling of the tender, which was announced on Wednesday, the CFE will buy from IUSA -company Carlos Peralta- 94% of the basic monophasic meters and 83% of the single-phase self-management meters; while it will acquire from Conymed – a company that has among its shareholders Peralta's brother-in-law – 82% of the biphasic self-management meters and the same percentage of the basic biphasic meters.

A Electrometer of the Americas, CFE will buy 17% of single-phase self-management meters and 18% of biphasic self-management meters. And 6% of the basic monophasic meters will acquire them from Protecsa Ingeniería.

In a press release, the CFE reported that the new auction process and "simultaneous supply" achieved savings of 596 million 803 thousand 982 pesos in the acquisition of light meters. This figure represents a decrease of 18% with respect to the amount allocated in 2018 for that same purchase.

According to the statement, for the tender this year the CFE conducted a "rigorous analysis of the market situation", in addition to the new auction process and "simultaneous supply", which "allows the strengthening of the small producers ".

On the participation of IUSA and Conymed in this tender, although both companies are protagonists of an investigation for supposed monopolistic practices, the press release highlights that Luis Bravo Navarro, coordinator of Corporate Communication of the CFE, informed that they are waiting that the Federal Commission of Economic Competition (Cofece) issues its resolution on the matter.

Unlike the tenders of other years, this time more contestants participated. Technology Planning and Analysis and Holley Technology submitted a joint offer, but their proposal was rejected for "not complying with the requested requirements".

The company BP Energía Sustentable also participated, but did not obtain any contract.

In this tender, IUSA and Conymed returned to the same formula they have used since 2013: they are presented as if they were competing companies and the items are distributed.

In July of 2017, an investigation of Mexicans against Corruption and Impunity (MCCI) showed that, in reality, both companies share domicile, legal representatives and, even, the main shareholder of Conymed is Andrés Tort Rivera, brother of Mariana Tort , couple of Carlos Peralta Quintero.

Since 2013 and until 2018, IUSA and Conymed monopolized the contracts of the CFE for the acquisition of meters, obtaining during this period a sum of more than 12 billion pesos.

In October 2017, the Cofece announced the opening of the investigation for possible monopolistic practices in the market of production, distribution and commercialization of light meters.

According to information from Cofece, that investigation entered its second phase in 2018